Dumbleton Hall Styled Shoot

Dumbleton Hall Hotel has always been in our top five wedding venues in the Cotswolds. From it’s grand driveway with flocks of sheep to the lake guarded by black swans, the Hotel sits in vast grounds outside Evesham. Perfect for a weekend getaway or afternoon tea, the venue hosts weddings on weekend and have recent erected a wooden gazebo. With the ever expanding wedding scene, we popped down to borrow the venue for half a day and create a beautiful styled shoot.

Our models were long term friends, from back when Jon used to shoot fashion and portraits in 2012. James, our male lead now is an editor for the biggest photography magazine and websites in the UK, which just goes to show how hard work truly does pay off. Helen has been featured in countless billboards and bridal work in the past, so they were both a perfect fit for our theme. Hair and makeup was wonderfully applied by the talented Rebekah Deponeo.

With inclement weather, we stayed mainly indoors, only briefly popping outside for some pictures on the parkway steps and wild flower garden. On our way back to the main hotel however, it completely chucked it down, almost raining the event off. We had a spare change of clothing for afterwards, and proceeded for a more informal evening wear attire.

Using a combination of earthy brown tones, reflections, Rembrandt lighting and flash techniques, we carved our signature classic style into each photograph. From classic lightning knowledge to experience in posing, we captured beautiful images for all to share.

Hatherley Manor Autumn Wedding

Hatherley Manor has been a staple of our weddings throughout the years. From one of our first recommended venues in 2016, we’ve been visiting multiple times a year. The newly built spa in the back half of the venue has added more space for weddings, including an outdoor enclosed area. The magical venue has been used for centuries, once inhabited by the son of Oliver Cromwell, and much of the original building is still in continual use.

We met Kayleigh and Cole after being recommended as a vendor by the venue - and loved their unique ideas. They insisted their dog was present for the reception, complete with shirt and tie combination. With our knowledge of the local area, during the golden hour just before sunset we ventured out to the fields behind the spa for some images. Our wedding photography style creates natural images and super big smiles throughout each session. Using prompts and queues rather than static poses, the couples photography in the field are always natural and a personal favourite.

If you would like to know more about our services, send us an email! We love to chat to new couples and help them tell their story.

Cheltenham Manor Wedding

Manor venues are pretty popular these days. Well over half of our weddings booked either take place in a barn or manor. With so many historic listed buildings still in existence, it gives couples a great place to mark history together. One of our favourite and continuously visited venues is Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham. We visit this venue around five times each year for different weddings. We know the staff, the back walkways and shortcuts between rooms. Every photo spot is perfect to access, with one of our 2017 weddings here being printed in a magazine.

Laure and Rob met with me many years ago, for a consultation regarding their wedding. The date had to be moved to allow for the birth of a new family addition, but they were back in touch to secure a date. With videography added, Scott and I were in full force to help out on the day. I'll just let you all scroll through the images from the day to see how it unfolded. I just loved the image of the baby looking up at her mum on her wedding day.

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Suppliers:

Photographer: Special Day Photography@specialdayuk

Videographer: Special Day Photography@specialdayuk

Ceremony Venue: St Lawrence Church, Gloucester

Reception Venue: Manor By The Lake@manorbythelake

Wedding Rings: Chapelle, Gloucester@chapelle_jewellery

Engagement Rings: H Samuel@hsamueljeweller

Bridal Dress: Taffeta & Lace@taffetaandlacebridal

Bridal Accessories: Taffeta & Lace, Pandora@taffetaandlacebridal@theofficialpandora

Bridesmaid Dresses: Linda Gray Bridal Wear @lindagraybridal

Groom Suit: House of Fraser@houseoffraser

Groomsmen Suit:

House of Fraser

@houseoffraser

Hairdresser: Julie Sawyer

Makeup Artist: Enhance your Beauty, Selina Taylor

Cake:

Patacake, Gloucester

If you would like to book your own wedding day with Special Day Photography, please contact us. We travel all throughout the UK but are based in Birmingham & Cheltenham. If you have a wedding in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff or Oxford please get in touch. We specialise in lifestyle wedding photography, with nothing too staged or forced. We'd love to catch up with you over a coffee to discuss any plans you may have.

Tudor Manor Wedding

England has so much history to it. Centuries of monarchy and history, changing and sculpting our landscape and buildings. Buildings often get replaced by more contemporary decor, yet precious spots of history still remain. Jack and Amy's wedding in the summer of 2018 was at two of these gloriously old buildings. I was charmed by everything throughout the day, from the table decorations to the flower details dotted everywhere.

Holy Trinity Church, Tibberton

Nestled high on a high down many country paths, it is a sight to behold. This Normandy church still has an archway well on its way to 1000 years old. Glimpsing a perfect frame of the church amongst the trees, the ceremony choice was due to family ties to the village. Guests were shipped in on a double decker bus as the lanes were so thin and parking limited. After the ceremony we had a quick walk through the trees behind the cemetery to an open expanse with views of the surrounding hills. A personal favourite and request of the couple for their couples portraits, private memories just for them.

Hellens Manor, Much Marcle

A drive over the hills to the local town shows me a venue I have never been to. With history dating back to the Tudor era, Hellens is one of the oldest working buildings in the country. With expansive lands and water features, a custom fitted barn for events and open air bar, the venue was perfect for the summer. Holding only a very limited 10 weddings a year, it felt prestigious to photograph here. With books, board games and old paintings on the wall, the main hall of the Manor was rich in dark reds and wood. Beautiful side-lighting filled the room, with no 20th century modifications to take away from the ambience.

Later in the evening when guests had retired to the converted barn, I had a chance to look around some of the decorations Amy and Jack had picked out for the room. With locally sourced flowers and a hand made cake by the mother of the bride, the entire affair was rustic and lovingly brought together for the couple. I had time to sneak away before the first dance with the couple for some emotional couples portraits, where they opened up on camera their feelings for each other after the stresses of the day were over.

I wish Amy and Jack the very best in the future, such a beautiful wedding I will never forget. One day i hope to return to the venue for more images.

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Suppliers (website and Instagram):

Ceremony: Holy Trinity Church, Tibberton

Reception Venue: Hellens Manor@hellensmanor

Wedding Rings: H. Samuel@hsamueljeweller

Flowers: Issy And Bella@issyandbella

Bridal Dress: Debenhams@debenhams

Grooms Suit: Suit Direct@suitdirectuk

Groomsmen Suit: Moss Bros@mossbros

Hairdresser: Lauren Wheeler@laurenwheelerartistry

Room Decorations: Valley Furniture Hire@valleyfurniturehire

Moreton-In-Marsh Summer Wedding

There are just some weddings that stick with you for a long time. We had been big fans of going to wedding fayres a few years ago, doing all the local bi-annual events our closest towns had to offer. This is where Cheryl and Simon found us, at the largest local event of the year in Cheltenham. After a quick chat and brochure handover, we were already in the process of booking and saving the date.

I had always heard good things about Moreton-In-Marsh, a small typically Cotswold looking village with a booming tourism trade. Every building the village has barely changed appearance over the past centuries. When arriving on a hot summers day with the foliage in full bloom, it really looks special. The Manor House Hotel sits in the central green of the village, just a few miles away from the beautiful Batsford Arboretum. With countless corridors leading to bars and secret places for sitting down, its vintage aesthetics appealed to me.

Keeping everything close by.

With bridal prep 10 minutes down the road at the father of the brides house, there was plenty enough space for all guests to get ready with ease. As the warm sun glowed upon the pictures, hints of orange, gold and silk scattered throughout the day. A close up magician entertained guests through the evening, followed by a great first dance with all guests invited.

I wish Cheryl and Simon all the best in the future, and enjoy the new 12x12" wedding albums we have started to produce for 2018.

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Gloucester Barn Wedding

I knew this wedding was coming. Ever since 2008 when I did my degree in Music, me and Josh were in the same groups, mixing with the same people. I saw the relationship between him and Jess bloom throughout the coming few years. They were both part of the central wedding troupe at a wedding I photographed three years prior too. At that wedding they vowed to hire me for their own day, whenever that may be. That time was finally upon us, in the summer of 2018. At one of my favourite Gloucester Barn Wedding venues Cripps Barn, the day was beautiful from start to finish. There's something so special about being trusted to shoot your friends wedding, you're one of the inside team and have a history and connection with so many guests.

Everyone could relax and be themselves, which makes for amazing images throughout the day. Our couples session was so fun, able to spend so much quality time with the couple getting those intimate shots which are so important. The weather held out day, with a beaming sun during the ceremony and group shots, until it finally became overcast for the couples shoot.

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Canon Wedding Photography Kit

We were recently honoured by the UK's largest Canon camera dedicated magazine. They reached out to use to ask for our input to feature in their monthly "My Kit" section. As self confessed Canon gear heads since starting in the trade, we said sure. Beneath is a run down of the article from the magazine, which was published in August 2018 UK wide. All of our Canon wedding photography kit is supported by a giant Manfrotto roller 70 bag.

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About us

There’s something about photography that has combined all my passions in life together. Starting young I thought I’d be an artist, with great grades up until A level. Then I did my degree in music, thinking I’d be a super successful session musician. Coming out of uni and into a full time job in a local printing lab kicked me in the direction of photography and the wonders of film photography. I was developing hundreds of rolls of film a week, seeing all the gorgeous colours and little tricks that professional photographers could employ to get the most out of these film stocks.

My boss in the lab gave me a little Canon 350d and told me “there’s a family coming in tomorrow who want a studio session, learn how to use this by tomorrow”. I can safely say my gift of the chat got me through that first nervous photoshoot, and it’s results propelled me on towards shooting more photos. I started to shoot model pictures of my friends, attending local modelling socials to network and expand my portfolio and technique catalog.

Starting shooting weddings

It was only a year or so later that someone in store asked me to shoot their wedding, at £200 I thought I was rolling in the money. The year after I shot 5, then 20 the next year and has continued upwards ever since. I love being able to make someone comfortable in front of a camera and myself, we all know how intimidating someone pointing a big camera at you can be, especially on something as nerve-wrecking as a wedding day.

It’s not all about the kit, it’s about how you come across as a brand. You are the walking embodiment of your company, they don’t pay you for your camera and how much your last lens was. They pay you because they like your style, how you work with couples and how you are to talk to and respond with.Most of the time I’ll shoot wide open at f1.4, and always take the extra time to shoot details like flowers, rings and table layouts.

What do I do?

I’m a wedding and maternity photographer from Birmingham, UK. I’ve grown up around arts and crafts thanks to my parents, one who was a music teacher and the other a landscape photographer. I started my photography career as a print technician in a lab, and slowly started buying kit and reading up on techniques and shooting model pictures of friends. My first wedding was 5 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I love to shoot light and airy images with lots of fun, candid qualities and creativeness. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping someone on the biggest day of their life, and them thanking you for the effort put in. I’ve been shooting with Canon since 2011 and with film since 2006.You can find us on most social media @specialdayuk.

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Kit Rundown:

Top left: 3 Legged Thing Vyv (https://www.3leggedthing.com)

I love the little compact tripod. I’ve been using it for pretty much anything static, from top down views to underslung so I can shoot from ground height for best angles. The lightweight nature of its construction lets me put it in the bag alongside the lenses and I don’t notice the difference.

Top row: Yongnuo 560 mk III, YN 565EX TTL flash (http://www.yongnuo.eu)

Flash is essential for the working photographer, and having a diverse range of flashes available to get the job done really helps you pull off those epic shots. I use a pair of manual firing cameras and a trigger to get off camera light, as well as always keeping a TTL version with me if I need a boost of power on camera for those darker wedding receptions.

Middle row left: Sigma macro 105mm 2.8 (https://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com)

Until they release an Art series, this older version (but still amazing in image quality for the price) stays in the bag. I only get it out for a couple of shots, such as wedding rings and super close wedding dress details, but it pays dividends and adds value to your brand being able to get those types of shots.

Middle row: Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art & Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lenses (https://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com)

I don’t think I could get the quality of image I desire without these brilliant lenses. Hugely sharp wide open and perfect in all lighting conditions, I sit the 35mm on my main camera for most of the day before pulling out the 85mm for some portrait shots. The bokeh is glorious and the focus is snappy, even for such big prime lenses.

Bottom row left: Canon 17-40 L (https://www.canon.co.uk/)

You need to have the ability to back up and get a wider shot, even in a small room. Rarely implemented but could never leave the house without, this wide lens has saved my bacon on many occasions where 200 guests want a group shot in a room the size of my shed.

Bottom row middle: Canon 6D (https://www.canon.co.uk/)

This has been my main shooting camera for a few years now, and I keep it in good working condition with regular checkups and maintenance. A super simple button and menu layout, it’s a wonderful full frame, low light king with an amazing battery life and responsiveness. I have a crop camera as a backup incase this fails, but after hundreds of thousands of shots, this thing has never failed on me once.

Bottom row right: Pentax 645

Picked up as “parts and not working”, you can really find a good steal on eBay nowadays. We use this medium format camera during portrait sessions. It’s certainly an expensive and time consuming extra to the bag, but wows every couple who see it and increases the brand value to be able to offer something a little different to just digital files.

Bottom bottom row: Holdfast MoneyMake dual strap (https://holdfastgear.com)

I got this imported from America to replace my bizarre collection of over shoulder and over neck camera straps that were strangling me on my wedding shoots. Handmade from leather, these straps form to your body and keep the weight of your multiple cameras from hurting any one point on your body. I can now happily carry round two 1kg cameras for 12 hours straight without feeling any pressure on my back or neck.

If you would like to book your own wedding day with Special Day Photography, please contact us. We travel all throughout the UK but are based in Cheltenham. If you have a wedding in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff or Oxford please get in touch. We specialise in lifestyle wedding photography, with nothing too staged or forced. We'd love to catch up with you over a coffee to discuss any plans you may have.

Same Sex Wedding in Nailsworth

Egypt Mills in Nailsworth sits alongside a long hill path, connecting many of the local Cotswold towns together. We used to visit Egypt Mills in the mornings to attend various business networking meetings. When Dan and David gave us a call and asked us to photograph their same sex wedding in Nailsworth, of course we said sure! The view from the hotel is breathtaking, with the surrounding hills dotted with tiny cottages built from Cotswold stone. Egpyt Mills has its own water mill inside the building, still functioning after all these centuries. A little weir sits just outside the entrance, giving the most calming experience.

The couples wedding theme was purple and silver, with a distinctive DC comic book edge. Self confessed comic nerds, the cake was topped with bobbleheaded Deadpool and Joker figurines. It was a great experience to see such an elegant wedding having a comic book twist, throwing something new into the pool of traditions and customs.

A small gathering of family and friends, this intimate same sex wedding in Nailsworth, Stroud really felt like a family get together. The closeness of everyone invited really made for some great conversations and chat. Dan and David prepared for their immediate trip away to a honeymoon, guests sat with tea and cake in the lounge area of the venue.

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Should You Have A Barn Or Manor Wedding?

Choosing where you want to get married is such a big dealbreaker. One of the core bookable services, the venue should epitomise your tastes and aesthetics. With new venues popping up monthly, where should you choose to get married? We've been shooting throughout the Cotswolds and countryside for years now. Stumbling across so many quaint little venues, all the way through to the big and bold manors. Let's walk through the pros and cons to booking a barn or a manor as your wedding reception venue.

The Style

As a photography and videography company, we're based in a region of the UK called the Cotswolds. This is a general term for the swathe of land south of Birmingham and north of Bristol. A rural area with plenty of sunshine, hills and regency towns, the area boasts so many beautiful open spaces as well as historic buildings still in place. It still baffles me that many of these places you can get married in are two or three times the age of the founding of the United States. We're big lovers of leafy exteriors, "Cotswold Stone" buildings and rustic wooden struts. The Cotswold surroundings have influenced our photography and video styles throughout the years. So thank you Cotswolds - you've been very kind to us!

Barn Weddings

A barn or farm wedding will be as you guessed it, in a farm. We've seen a huge range of venues, from Mussel End Farm in Gloucester, which is still a fully functional farm (complete with smells and sights of cows) to Hyde Barn, a purpose built wedding venue. Many of these farms are being renovated or newer side barns added to the venues for wedding specific function rooms.

The majority of wedding barns are owned by a central wedding franchise. You will find that the venues are quickly booked for the hottest summer wedding dates. I've routinely heard a two to three year waiting list for a good date in the summer is normal for these glorious barns. If you're in to your locally sourced food many of these farm weddings will supply food from their own or local farms. Expect loads of free parking and lovely local hosts who can cater for your needs in the most friendly way.

Cripps Barn, Cirencester

Cripps Barn was the very first wedding venue I ever photographed. Back in the day I was helping out my old work colleague as a second photographer, and loved the custom renovated interior and outdoor views of rolling fields. Out the back is a little paddock area, surrounded by trees on all sides, where they hold the outdoor ceremonies. The interior barn is glorious stone and timber, with a hanging wreath in the centre of the room. This place looks truly gorgeous when dusk settles in, and the ambience from the lights really adds to incredible photos. I recently returned to the venue to photograph my friend Josh  at his wedding there.

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The Barn At Upcote, Cheltenham

Home during the summer to the local 2000 Trees Festival, this farm is miles out of the way of any major town or city. Through winding roads you come across the farm, with a long road leading you to the venue. The venue still retains some of its original charm whilst keeping things up to date with a dance room to the side.

During out couples session at a wedding in the venue last year, we took a wonder through the trees and stumbled across a little campsite for a more rustic experience. The owners of the farm were kind enough to let us take photographs in their private garden, whilst a peacock patrolled (and almost attacked me) outside. The staff were so kind and lovely, it would be a pleasure to return one day and capture more memories with more people.

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Manor Weddings

England has enjoyed so much rich history through the years. From reigning Kings and Queens to Lords and Ladies, manor houses have popped up throughout the countryside. These huge buildings are typically hotels now, available for holiday makers to see some local culture and read up on the history as they enjoy a short weekend away. The Cotswolds has so many hidden gems to be married in. Routinely we are requested to return to the same venues over and over.

Manor houses will typically hold a higher amount of guests than a barn, typically in the 200 capacity region. Having canapés and champagne in these grand reception halls whilst a string quartet or pianists plays on in the background gives a grand appearance to the day. Dramatic lighting and historic wall features are present in nearly every venue we've visited, adding drama and intrigue to each wedding days event.

Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

Located in one of the strangest of places, hidden near a business district and only noticeable by a sign on a gravel road, Manor By The Lake is Cheltenham's hidden gem. Once you make your way down the path and through the trees, the venue opens up in a spectacular fashion. A huge pathway adorned by trees on either side guides you to the front door of this huge manor house. During the autumn purple shaded ivy covers the exterior of the building, which makes for a magical experience.

Inside you'll find a hidden away rock-themed bar and multiple function rooms. The reception room comfortably holds over 200 people. There's an area for kids to play and an elevated stage for the band or DJ in the evening. But the time when Manor By The lake truly shines is at night. The path circling the central lake is lit with warm glowing lightbulbs which give a fairytale ending to the day.

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Dumbleton Hall Hotel, Evesham

Just up the road from where we're based in Cheltenham is Evesham, and the small village of Dumbleton. Just a few houses and a modest little church it seems from the outside. But follow up a path beyond some big gates and you'll come across the most surprising and gran manor house I've ever seen. With acres of private land, a lake and black swans, Dumbleton Hall Hotel sits happily on the hillside and is open for weddings throughout the year. The venue can fit a huge amount of guests, and has multiple (I counted four) reception and bar rooms all in the original decor of the time. Out in the field sits the remnants of an old window frame, giving a great opportunity to shoot against for photographs.

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From all our weddings, about half of all we shoot are barn weddings, the rest manors. We have carved out our unique rustic style by becoming prominent at these venues. Our colour palette and vintage style reflects the amount of times we've visited these venues. The choice is your for where you'd like to book, above I've just included a handful of my favourite places. Farm weddings give you a local and friendly vibe, with a smaller guest count. Manor venues cater for larger guest counts, but can be quickly booked up and the costs vary. If you're interested in finding out about any more wedding venues, just browse through our blog and explore.

If you would like to book your own wedding day with Special Day Photography, please contact us. We travel all throughout the UK but are based in Cheltenham. If you have a wedding in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff or Oxford please get in touch. We specialise in lifestyle wedding photography, with nothing too staged or forced. We'd love to catch up with you over a coffee to discuss any plans you may have.

Dumbleton Hall Hotel Summer Wedding

How else do you meet couples nowadays than online? I was contacted by the couple in winter 2016 and we immediately went down the local pub in Cheltenham for a drink to discuss the finer details. We chatted for an hour or so about the wedding. How they met and what interesting stories they could tell me about themselves. It's always so interesting to find how people get together. It could be through friends, online dating apps or just by a happy accident. We kept in touch over the coming months, discussing ideas for the wedding such as cars and colour schemes.

Dumbleton Village Church

Dumbleton sits a couple of miles away from Cheltenham, a place where I went to uni (twice!) for, yet I had never been. A tiny little village in the most picturesque countryside, Kirsten and Tom had chosen the local church to get married in. The sunflower theme of the day reflected the great weather, where normally we see nothing but rain. The church was fully packed to capacity, with friends and relatives lining all the alcoves and church pews. A traditional affair included blessings, an organist and signing of the registry book.

Dumbleton Hall Hotel

After the ceremony and confetti, we went just round the corner of the church to the huge batcave/manor that is Dumbleton Hall Hotel. A huge spectacle with acres of land for grazing sheep and rare black swans. A long drive up to the hotel itself afforded beautiful scenic views, the likes which I miss living in a city like Birmingham. The fondest memory I have of this wedding was the first dance - they opted for a ceilidh, or folk style barn dance. A trained barn dance instructor was there to guide all the guests in to long looping rows of couples. Couples then had to perform and memorise specific dance sequences to a lovely local fiddle and banjo folk band.

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Suppliers:

Venue: Dumbleton Hall Hotel @dumbletonhall

Photographer: Special Day Photography @specialdayuk

Bride’s Hair & Makeup Natalie Ricciardi @nataliericciardimakeup

Groom’s Suit: Regency Groom https://www.groomswear.co.uk/Cake: Confetti Cakes @confetticakes.cotswolds

DJ/entertainment: Bees Knees Band http://www.beeskneesband.com/

Mini Golf: BBC Inflatables @bbcinflatables

Car: Drive Southwest @drivesouthwest

Winter Wedding At Elmore Court

On the tail end of 2017 I was the photographer for a bride called Angela. A sister of four, third of the sisters to get married, and a friend since University days. We mentioned back then that we'd be returning to the family to shoot the wedding for her younger sister Claire. The last of the family to get married, this was scheduled to be a fantastic and fresh March day wedding.

Unfortunately, the weather in the UK is not as predictable as we'd like. It snowed for days before the wedding, giving all the promise of an even more fantastic white winter wedding. The snow however, made many roads impassable, including the one to my own house here in Birmingham the day before. It took over an hour to slip and slide my way up the one mile road to my house, which I then managed to wedge the car in 7 inches of fresh snow outside my house.

Considering this snowfall, I prepared to leave my house at 6am the next day. I had to dig my own car out of the drive before sliding back down that road and on to the motorway to Cheltenham. The snow had pretty much disappeared further down south, however their wedding venue at Elmore Court is secluded and up in the hills. We were all wondering on if it was even accessible at all on the wedding day.

Christ Church - Cheltenham

We returned once again to Christ Church in Cheltenham, a church in the town's regency building area. All of Claire's sisters have been married in this church, and by the same vicar called Tim. Beautiful winter themed flower decorations by Charlotte Elizabeth festooned the aisle. All the bridesmaids wore a light peach colour on all the dresses. It was great to see so many familiar faces again from the previous wedding, I felt like one of the family. I managed to get a few minutes to get all of the guests together for a group photo from the balcony of the church before we left to the next venue.

Elmore Court - Gloucester

Elmore Court was fortunately open, part in thanks to the local farmers who cleared the countryside roads. If you could image a huge manor like on Downton Abbey, you'd be in a similar place to Elmore Court. Grand staircases, room after room and roaring fireplaces in each. The good staff there have recently added a huge reception hall to the rear, which can comfortably seat 200 people plus an area for dancing.  I need to give a special thanks to the wedding band The Soul Department, for being so tight musically and singing some brilliant soul songs. It was a magical night and they topped it all off with their smooth classics.

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The bride and groom pose at the door to Elmore Court in Gloucester. The dress is by Milla Nova and the grooms suit by Horace Barton & Sons.

The bride and groom pose at the door to Elmore Court in Gloucester. The dress is by Milla Nova and the grooms suit by Horace Barton & Sons.

A newly married couple kiss under the lights at Elmore Court in Gloucester.

A newly married couple kiss under the lights at Elmore Court in Gloucester.

Suppliers:

Venue: Elmore Court

Photography & Videography: Special Day Photography

Flowers: Flowers By Charlotte Harrison

Bridal Dress: Milla Nova

Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS

Grooms Suit: Horace Barton & Sons

Entertainment: Soul Department

Christ Church Cheltenham Wedding

The couple that we photographed were very special to both Scott and I. I met Angela in 2008 at one very drunk and hazy party night at University. At a now defunct club called Dakota in Cheltenham, we bonded over both being born on the same date and year. Angela's sister, Claire, was a club rep at the time and I got chatting to them both and kept in touch throughout my degree period.

On the other side of University I picked up a camera and started working in a printing lab, and still kept seeing Angela go by the shop window and we'd wave at each other. Suddenly, many years later and out of the blue Angela sees one of our promos in a local magazine and asks us to meet for a wedding chat for photography and videography. Turns out Scott knew Angela and Claire all along, even going to school with them 20 years ago. What a small world this really is.

Christ Church - Cheltenham

Angela tied the knot with James, they both met each other when working in hospitality and catering events together. Our pre-wedding chat was great, I was doing my best to help them have an easy day and they were in turn trying to out do us with kindness and see how comfortable they could make us! Angela is number three in a line of four girls in the family, and is tradition to get married by the same vicar in the same church at Christ Church, Cheltenham.

We were welcomed in to the parents lovely home for the bridal prep as well as hair and makeup taking place at the local hairdressers Martin & Phelps.  The vicar Tim entertained the packed church with stories about grapes and brandished car battery jumper cables. One of Angela's older sisters surprised the congregation with a flash mob rendition of "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, which came as a total surprise to Angela.

Manor By The Lake - Cheltenham

After the brilliant service, we headed off to the amazing local venue Manor By The Lake. The fifth time shooting there this year, the staff knew us by name and even poured us all a well earned drink during the meal down-time. A beautifully decorated reception hall greeted us, with copper and dark blue tones. As the leaves of the trees had started to fall by now, this reception hall gave us autumnal vibes.

The speeches included a long fathers speech, with many anecdotes throughout the years, James and even Angela giving a little thank you in turn. The tables made way for dancing and we also managed to take the couple out for just a few minutes to take some couples shots in the fairy light illuminated pathways of the grounds.

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Wedding Photo List UK

Every wedding season seems to change in style and appearance for us as wedding photographers. As we can see the styles emerge and recede throughout the years, I thought it would be a great idea to gather up some of our most often requested shots into a blog to help future brides out in selecting a great wedding photo list UK shot list. We've taken a selection of our favourite images from 2017 from the local Cheltenham area to help with this list.

Venues

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The locations of weddings in 2017 stayed typically within country manors and estates, with the amount of countryside weddings backing away in comparison to 2016. Perhaps its the weather being more unpredictable or the fact that more and more estates are being transformed into stunning wedding venues. We can't see signs of the British regal manor wedding venue going away any time soon. This year alone we shot five weddings at Manor By The Lake in Cheltenham, to the point that we returned three times in a row every weekend. Picking a venue mid-week is the easiest way to secure a great venue and time of the year, whilst also saving yourself a good portion of your budget.

Colours

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Bolder colours and tones were present this year, with deep blues and reads, alongside copper for metallic tones. I'd love to see this trend continue throughout 2018. The deep colours work so well against the rich green countryside we have here in the Cotswolds. The rings and jewellery this year seemed to have been of a simpler nature. There was a prominence on silver and platinum rather than traditional gold and diamond. I'd make sure your photographer has a specific camera lens to take great photos of your wedding bands.

Cake

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Wedding cakes this year took on a simpler look with less icing than in past years. Different flavoured layers spoke for the cake, and we've seen chocolate orange flavoured tiers this year. Cheese cakes have also become popular as an evening snacking option. Do your research on cake makers, keep the flavours strong and the decorations simple. Your guests will be wowed by the unassuming cake pyramid!

Music

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There was a huge emphasis on swing bands this year. We saw all kinds of bands, six and even 8 piece brass bands at some weddings. Folk bands, funk and even rock bands showed up, but the swing band theme showed up more often than not. If you're looking for someone with some serious style and skill, Kim Cypher really brings the house down with her saxophone skills.

Cotswolds Hotel Wedding

Nothing can stop the great British weather, not even a great wedding day. Fortunately us ingenious Brits have the weather under control, and giant tents are constructed to protect us from the elements. Shot at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa, this venue miles from anywhere gives a rolling landscape with acres of shooting locations, beautiful decorations and enough space to set up your own Gin Palace. The tones for the day were mid-green and cream, with an emphasis on a party atmosphere. I loved the wedding cake - festooned with dozens of macaroons thats just looked too good.  After the ceremony was done we hopped on some spare golf buggys (note - don't let me drive as I almost tipped one going round a corner) and scurried off to one of the far golf holes for some shots through the long grass.

Katy and the bridal party were a great laugh throughout the day, especially in the bridal prep section. They made me even laugh, and that's a rarity as it's usually me cracking the poor dad jokes. We all bonded over a communal love of gin, finding out each others favourites let us keep in touch afterwards. I hope you enjoy these Cotswolds Hotel Wedding images as much as I did taking them.

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